Thursday, February 23, 2012

BOSTON REAL ESTATE NEWS: Home sales up in January

The lack of snow and rock bottom interest rates boosted single-family home sales in the Bay State last month as the region’s modest housing recovery posted its seventh consecutive month of gains despite a slide in median prices.

“We are thankful for the great weather and low interest rates,” said Kimberly Allard-Moccia, president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors  . “Surprisingly, the pace of home sales in January was strong. People are buying because all signs say this is the right time to buy. Some of our agents say the problem right now is the lack of inventory.”

Interest rates under 4 percent and lower home prices fueled 2,130 home sales in January, up from 2,036 one year ago, a 4.6 percent increase, according to the MLS Property Information Network  . But as sales increased, the median price for a single-family fell by
5.2 percent to $265,250 down from $280,000 on year ago in December of 2010. 

Allard-Moccia said median prices are being pulled down by the sale of distressed and foreclosed homes. “Those numbers reflect sales of bank-owned properties as well as short sales and that inventory is growing,” she said.

Condominium sales were flat in January as the number of units sold was 781, down from 791 a year ago, a 1.2 percent drop. Median condo prices last month were nearly unchanged at $252,000, up from $250,000 in January 2010, a 0.8 percent hike.

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